Important note: The original file name of this article was “THE STORY OF TWO TREES.doc“, yet the article’s title was clearly “Communicate With Love Letters“. — (information added by web designer)
When I first started writing, back in the 1960’s, we moved to Belfast Northern Ireland to help establish a work in the Shankhill road district. Belfast is the capitol of Northern Ireland and has about a half million residents. While living there I had numerous speaking engagements in England, Scotland and the Continent. I remember one in particular in Castlemilk, Scotland. I was staying in a home in a nearby town and had nothing to do all day long for a week.
With a borrowed ancient typewriter I began to write. The theme I was pecking away at was personal communication. My fingers could not fly fast enough. Page after page I would complete and then speak every night. The Scots are a marvelous people. To the contrary, they are not mean (meaning cheap) but super generous, not only with encouraging words but with tea and scones (Cookies).
As the words came and the pages flew I just had the feeling, “Boy, you are a genius”. Who else could just sit down and pour his heart into 80 pages during that week? Finishing up the week of speaking, I began to toy with a poem. The final day was a ‘work in progress’ and the poem was complete.
When I returned to our home in Belfast, various problems and opportunities were waiting. The church was growing and the 80 pages was just stuffed into a corner. It had time to be fully digested, and 6 months later I returned to review and finish the wonderful task of writing another book. I began to read the stuff that I had poured out of that old typewriter. My genius faded and flunked. The marvel of writing ended up ‘a pill of junk’. I chunked everything except the poem. It was terrible and I learned a great lesson from the experience. One, your not a genius. After all, I was just beginning to write. Writing is an art and the more you write the better you can get. Back on the subject of personal communications.
What if every husband and wife bought two notebooks? The kind that are sown and pages cannot easily be torn out. Then just once a week you would meet together for one hour. No T.V., no radio, no telephone, no computer games, no kids, no noise and no distractions. At the beginning of the first 30 minute period you would agree on a subject to be recorded. Any topic will do. The first page of the books could be filled with topics, They can be something serious or incidental. Example, where do you want to go for vacation, or what do you like or dislike about your work. Write about five things you love about each other. Write about five things you would change if you could. Write to each other, putting words on paper that are difficult to speak. Sometimes what’s in your heart, when spoken, turns into arguments, but when you write alone there is no one there but you. Put your feelings down just as they are. Don’t read what you write. No ripping pages. Time is important. No skipping, or joking, or playing ‘ring around the roses’. Just the straight ‘skinny’, how you really feel. Always begin by writing about your love and care for one another other.
Have fun writing. The things that cannot be said easily, can be written plainly. When the bell goes off, the second half of the hour begins. Now, meet together and exchange books. Read what your ‘beloved’ has written three times. One for the mind, one for the heart, and one to grow on.
Things will begin to happen. Now listen to each other about what they have written and talk about your feelings and thoughts. Two, you will definitely find out just what your love one thinks. That’s what talking does. These are love letters, the kind you used to write. Third, you will begin a bonding that perhaps has never been. The lasting effect is that you will be purging your heart by putting it into words. No longer will any subject be trapped as unspeakable. Be honest – transparently honest – painfully honest. This will make it a glowing success. Are you ‘stuck in the mud’ on communications? Try this and you will be amazed at the wonder of it all.
After all, you love each other more than life. Write those love letters of how you really feel. Just think what would happen at the end of the year. Fifty two pages of words spoken with the pen. Two hearts, while they may not fully agree, you will know exactly how the partner feels. Just write the precious material you have longed to say and find the joy in reading the heart of the other – WOW! What a blessing.
Is this what Paul was saying when he wrote, “Submitting yourselves one to the other in the fear of God. . . husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. . . so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife, loves himself . . .For this cause shall a man leave h is father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. . .This is a great mystery; I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:21-32) ?
I apologize that I got to writing this and forgot about the poem of the TWO TREES. I definitely will write that in a column soon.